I Like Crochet Magazine |Stonewashed Bag


I’ve got a new design out in the February 2019 issue of I Like Crochet and it’s one I really love!  The Stonewashed bag is my new favourite thing! It’s such a classic shape, it’s got a fun retro / vintage feel about it, and it’s easy to make!

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This large shoulder bag was inspired and pieced together like a denim patchwork and I added some faux leather handles to feel a bit like a belt. It’s really spacious inside and has a popper closure making it a great carryall bag.

You can’t really tell on the photos in the magazine but I lined it with a cute floral fabric which I picked up at my local yarn shop – and I love the pop of colour in the middle.

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This is a simple-to-make crochet bag, great for beginners and would be a quick make for more accomplished crocheters. 

For this design I used Wool and the Gang Billie Jean yarn which I’d wanted to try because it’s made using upcycled pre-consumer denim waste​ which I thought was really cool – and it just suited my design idea perfectly! 

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SAVE PATTERN ON RAVELRY HERE

As well as my bag pattern the February issue features over 25 patterns to enjoy including cardigans, ponchos, pillows and blankets.

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SUBSCRIBE TODAY for a copy of the magazine straight

to your desktop or iPad.

If you hook up the Stonewashed bag please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see it! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Sheep on the Shelf Competition and New Crochet Kits


I just had to pop on here and tell you about a couple of crochet things that are happening with Dear Ewe. Now you may remember that I designed the Little Ewe amigurumi pattern as our mascot for Dear Ewe. She’s proven to be quite popular with lovely crocheters out in the world so this year, for a bit of fun, we decided to hold the inaugural Sheep on the Shelf Competition

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You can read all about the competition rules on the Dear Ewe blog but in a nutshell for anyone that sends in a festive photo of Little Ewe they will be added to a prize draw to win their choice of a Dear Ewe character mug worth £16!

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The competition runs from 1st until 12th December so you have plenty of time to hook up a Little Ewe if you want to join in. Entry’s will then be put up for a public vote with a winner drawn on Sunday 16th December. The winner gets to pick their choice from one of our Dear Ewe character mugs featuring Crafty Ewe.

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You can also pick up a free Little Ewe accessory pattern on the blog get EWE in an elvish mood! I think it also makes a cute little ornament even if you didn’t make Little Ewe.

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The other very exciting news is that Little Ewe is now available in a complete crochet kit! The kits include everything EWE need for your project, from gorgeously soft Scheepjes yarn, a premium Addi bamboo hook (optional if you’d prefer to use your own tools) all in a handy drawstring cotton project bag.

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I hope that some of you will join in the Sheep on the Shelf fun – can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Skimming Stones MCAL | Finally Finished!


So today I’m going to celebrate the fact that I’ve finally finished off a WIP (work in progress) that’s been sitting by my chair for the last four months…which isn’t TOO bad I suppose. I’m sure I’ve got other WIPs that are gathering cobwebs in dusty recesses of hidden boxes and bags…but we won’t mention those. 

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Today it’s all about the WIP that is no longer in a state of incompleteness. Cue triumphant fanfare…my Skimming Stones Shawl is finally finished!

I don’t know if you remember but I joined the Crochet-Along (CAL) by designers Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace (aka The Crochet Project) for their Skimming Stones Mystery Crochet A-Long that ran over June and July this year. You can  read about my start here but, as with most things that are for myself, it got put to one side whilst I had to work on other commissions and things. 

But I recently had a little bit of time to get it finished off, blocked and ready to wear. And actually as the weather is turning colder in this part of the UK it couldn’t have come at a better time!

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I did a complete wet block for this shawl as it had been scrunched up in a WIP bag for ages. I left it pinned out over night on foam mats on the floor, which my family was really pleased to have to walk around, and the next day I did the fun unpinning part to see it in it’s new shape!

It turned out so pretty – I love this colour combination of Scheepjes Stonewashed together and I love the texture and the edging…

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I was very lucky to get a bit of winter sunshine to take some photos – I hate this time of year when there’s very little natural light around (or it’s so grey outside it still seems like night time!) but Mr Sun was very obliging on this occasion…

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We have a lovely wall of ivy in the back garden that stays green all year round, it’s one of my favourite places to use as a backdrop, and I think it really helps show you how the colours really appear!

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My new shawl is going to keep me lovely and cosy! But I’ve still got shawl fever and want to make another one!

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So I’ve been thinking about what other WIP projects I might start to work on in between other things. I’m not going to do another CAL right now but  I’ve got my eye on the stunning Grinda Shawl by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk aka Lilla Bjorn which was released as a MCAL by Scheepjes

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That MCAL has finished now but I think the pattern is absolutely smashing and I have a Scheepjes Whirl (Black Forest Zinger) in my stash which I think has this shawls written all over it! Watch this space!

Have you made the Grinda Shawl? I’d love to hear about it and your top tips before I start.

Until next time! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Pattern Release & Giveway| Relaxing Ralph Cat Amigurumi


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Woo hooooo! I’m really excited to say that my Relaxing Ralph pattern, that I designed for the Crochet Sanctuary (read about that here), is now finally LIVE!

I’m chuffed to bits be able to finally release him into the wild because I really love how he turned out! I seriously just want to climb into his hammock with him and have a little snooze – don’t you?

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If you have ever watched a cat sleeping you’ll know that they sleep like they don’t have a care in the world. Now you can take a leaf out of the life of a cat and relax like Ralph! 

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The pattern is 5 pages long and it’s written, as usual, in both UK and US terms.  It was nice to see the  folks at the crochet sanctuary who were both intermediate and beginners to amigurumi enjoying the pattern. Though if you are a beginner and would like to give this pattern a go you might want to familiarise yourself with working in rounds in the amigurumi style before you start.

Pattern Links 🎉

The Relaxing Ralph pattern is now available in my pattern stores on both Ravelry and on Lovecrochet.com – however if you’d like to be in with a chance to win a copy then keep reading…

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Exclusive Giveaway 🎉

🚫 GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS TO

Catsmom6 & CrochetRoxx 🚫

If you’d like to be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of Relaxing Ralph simply head on over to Ravelry and/or LoveCrochet.com and add it to your favourites. Please then comment below this post with either your Ravelry username or email address for your chance to win a copy.

Your Ravelry username and email address will only be used to send you your prize, if you enter the information onto a comment it is understood that you are granting me your permission for me to use your information as advised.

Bonus Entry: Re-pin any of the images above. Copy & paste the URL of your re-pin in the blog comments below. 

TWO winners will be randomly chosen on Tuesday 2 October 2018 evening around 7pm GMT

Finally I hope you will share any Relaxing Ralph project’s,  on social media or as a Ravelry or LoveCrochet.com project, to be in with a chance to win a different pattern of mine if you are featured in my monthly newsletter.

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Yarn Review and New Project | Scheepjes Stardust


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I love it when I find a new yarn to play with! Stardust yarn was released by the Dutch company Scheepjes at the end of 2016 but it was a new yarn to me. I came across it when I was searching the web for a particular yarn to make a wedding shawl (more on that later) and when I saw this yarn I just KNEW it had been what I was searching for. 

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I really wanted something a little special for this project and Stardust contains really fine sparkling fibres that add a gorgeous shimmer when they catch the light. I must confess I was a bit worried about the scratchy element,  like some sparkle yarns can be, but I need not have worried, when this yarn turned up it was super soft without being scratchy.

So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  Double Knit (3)
  • Blend: 11% mohair, 11% wool, 75% premium acrylic, 3% metallic polyester
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 100g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 540m
  • Wash instructions: Cool, gentle hand wash only.
  • Price: £5.80 (at the time of this post)

Stardust is available in 9 solid and 5 long variegated shades, each named after a star constellation – which I love! Who doesn’t want to hook up the stars!

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I chose Capricorn (Shade 653) for my particular project but it just might be that I have since purchased some more Stardust since then…

I may just have bought some Pisces (Shade 654), because I fell in love with the gorgeousness of the blue, and maybe some Virgo (Shade 664) also fell into my basket because I was born in September so I had to! What can I say…I know I’m a yarn addict!

I’m not usually much of a pink person but the Virgo is such a delightful variegated combination…and you can just make out the hint of shine I was talking about. 

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It’s hard to catch the lovely sparkle in a photo, this yarn is much better in real life and when it’s made into a garment it’s best – it needs movement to make it really shine! 

Stardust comes in large 100g / 540m balls which means you could easily make a project out of one ball. The particular blend of different yarns creates a lovely lightweight fabric when worked up with a lovely drape –  just perfect for a shawl or wrap. For my wrap I ended up using 3 balls which still isn’t going to break the bank – especially for a luxe handmade shawl.  

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I so enjoyed the effect this yarn creates when worked up, seriously can’t say enough about the sparkle, so decided to stick with a fairly simple design to let the yarn do the talking. Like most fluffy yarns it’s not the easiest to frog if you go wrong which was another reason I kept the pattern simple.  I’ll let you have a little peep at the design I came up with…

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The free crochet pattern for the Shining Light Wedding Wrap will be coming to the blog soon!

Have you worked with Stardust yarn – what did you think?

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Skimming Stones MCAL | Parts 1 and 2 done!


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It’s work in progress Wednesday! If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen that over June and July my WIP is the Skimming Stones Mystery Crochet A-Long by designers Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace (aka The Crochet Project). It’s a paid for pattern CAL that started on 20 June with a new section released each week for a total of 4 weeks.

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There’s always so many amazing CALs out there but unless it’s my own CAL I’m usually a bit rubbish at not letting other things get in the way. However the Skimming Stones CAL seemed manageable (for me) as it’s four parts released on a weekly basis. So not too long a CAL to start impeding on my other commitments and the right kind of project to make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something as I get a nice new shawl just for me at the end.

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And I was extremely good and didn’t buy any new yarn for this project (I’m not ill I promise!) I just really need to start using some of my own yarn stash before we all become buried alive in it. And I have some lovely stuff in my stash, so I’m beginning to try and get more of a use it up attitude – so it was stash shopping I went!

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I picked out some of my favourite yarn, Scheepjes Stonewashed, from my stash in the following colours and amounts:

Col A = 2 x 50g / 260 metres of Smokey Quartz (802) 
Col B = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Corundum Ruby (808) 
Col C = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Lilac Quartz (818) 
Col D = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Amazonite (813) 
Col E = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Crystal Quartz (814)

And I’m pretty much in love with how these colours are working together! With the Stonewashed I’ve used a 3.5mm (US size E) hook and of course keeping all my WIP together in a handy Dear Ewe project bag 😉

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I’m really enjoyed a mini break from designing and found it so refreshing to just follow a pattern were someone else had done all the working out for me! 

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It’s such a fun design too and I basically followed all the helpful tips by Lynn Rowe (from the Woolnest); starting with a 2ch and carrying my yarn up the side of my work too, I also made sure to weave in my ends as I went (anyone else usually leave that till the end – or never if they get the chance?!).  

I’ve made it up to clue 2 and I’m a little behind as I stopped to crochet a platypus (more about that in another post)…but I’m very pleased with myself for keeping up as a reason I don’t usually join in the CALs is because I know I will get caught up in other projects and not finished! But not this time (I said to myself)…

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By the time this post is published I’ll hopefully be off to download parts 3 and 4 of the pattern and finish it all off! 

Have you been working on the Skimming Stones CAL too? I’d love to hear how you are getting on with it too if you are?

Until next time folks! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Pattern Release | Floral Mandala Ring Cushion


So this May was a very special month for me as my best friend, of over 25 years, got married. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to design her ring cushion for her special day – and now it’s all over she’s happy for me to release the design as a pattern for others to enjoy too.

What was really funny when I started thinking about designing this cushion, and a testament to how well we know each other after all these years, I knew she wanted purple to be her wedding colour so I picked up some purple yarn and the accent button when I happened to see them. But this was before she’d made the final choice for her wedding decor – but it all matched perfectly, I just knew what she’d like!

Introducing the Floral Mandala Ring Cushion…

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If you’ve chosen to have a ring bearer on your wedding day and you’d love to include a handmade element in your day then this could be the perfect solution for you.

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This sweet and simple textured cushion with it’s floral mandala motif is elegant enough on its own and lets the rings do the talking. 

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The colours can be adapted to match any wedding theme and it’s a relatively easy item to make. Perfect for a beginner that was looking to learn some new crochet techniques or an experienced crocheter as a quick project.

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The cushion is made with Scheepjes Cotton 8 (4ply / fingering weight) yarn but if you made it with Aran (worsted weight) yarn and a larger hook I think you would also have a fantastic cushion for your favourite chair!

If you hook up the Floral Mandala Ring Cushion please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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